Is this your first time talking to a recruiter? What can you expect? How should you prepare? Remember, the recruiter is there to serve as your personal job search wingman. They are on your side and want to find you a great job at a place you will enjoy showing up at every day. Many times they will find that you don’t fit for the particular position they are working on, but you might be great for another one they have in mind. So in order to have a smooth and impressive first encounter with a recruiter, here are the things you should be sure to do in your first talk:
1. Be honest.
Make sure you don’t flower any skills or experiences because nine times out of ten the recruiter, staffing manager, or onboarding process will catch you. Furthermore, maybe you’re not the best fit for the job. Lying about your experience not only wastes the recruiter’s time, but also yours. You want the recruiter to match you up with best possible fit and being honest about your skills and experience will benefit you in the long run.
2. Keep the Job Description in Mind.
When a recruiter asks about your previous employments talk about your most relevant experience first. Make sure to emphasize the skills you used in each position as they pertain to the one you are applying for. If the job description askes for a problem solving team player, make sure you have examples of how you solved a problem and worked well in a team. Have the answer to those questions prepared ahead of time so you don’t get caught off guard.
3. Expect Brevity.
Recruiters are limited on time and work in a fast paced environment. Do not be alarmed if your initial phone screen is brief. Make sure to be confident in your answers and tell the recruiter how great you are from the start!
4. Explain the Gaps.
If there is a significant gap in your resume, make sure you’re prepared to explain why. The recruiter will need to know this in case the hiring manager asks.
5. Prepare to Talk Money.
Be prepared to speak about your previous compensation. This is a common question, so do not be shocked if the recruiter asks what you are currently making and what you expect from the position at hand. This is just another step taken to decide if you’re a fit so no one’s time is wasted.
6. Be Yourself!
In addition to the right skill set, recruiters are also looking for the right personality fit. Make sure to have some canned answers so your personality can shine through. Believe it or not, if your resume is great but you aren’t friendly and personable on the phone, you may be passed over because the recruiter knows the particular client likes a bubbly personality.